Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Principal Notes: Resilient Children

There are many books on parenting or educating students between the ages of 5 and 11 but one that I always find helpful personally and professionally is Raising Resilient Children by Dr. Robert Brooks (http://www.raisingresilientkids.com/books/book.html) : (http://www.raisingresilientkids.com). This book’s message is that we can not prevent stress on our children and protect them from all of the challenges they will encounter during their lives. However, we can empower them through developing a sense of hope and resiliency.

Chapter Nine in Dr. Brooks book talks about “Developing Responsibility, Compassion and A Social Conscience.” In this chapter Brooks talks about parents “serving as a model of responsibility” and the benefits of developing traditions to become a charitable family. In the book Dr Brooks states: “Once children are engaged in these “contributory activities” that is, activities in which they contribute to others , they are more likely to develop responsibility and compassion. In addition, as this sense of responsibility is reinforced , they are wiling to accept ownership for their behavior and less likely to resort to self-defeating coping strategies.”

Every year my family and a large number of my wife’s extended family (ages newborns to grandparents) attend the Boston Lupus Walk in the Spring as a team in our matching t-shirts. We do this to remember Ani - a beautiful, young 13 year old relative we lost a few years ago to Lupus (a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect various parts of the body, especially the joints, skin, blood and kidneys) and to raise money for the Lupus Research Institute. Family members drive many hours to attend this event. After the walk, we have a big family cookout.

This summer my second grade daughter saw a sign in the supermarket about the MSPCA-Angell Walk for Animals. She immediately wanted to be a part of the walk. After 7 years of being part of our family walk for Lupus, she had made the connection that through raising money in a walk-a-thon she might be able to support a cause dear to her heart. She was excited help animals that she has seen when we visit the MSPCA and honor Louie, her much loved dog, she lost two years ago at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. My daughter saved her money all summer and emailed relatives to raise awareness and funds. She participated in the walk last weekend and had volunteers at that check-in booth jaws drop when they saw how much she raised. She has told us she needs to grow up to be a vet in order that she can help animals like the doctors did at Angell.

The beginning of the school year is a great time to set up routines. Please make time for reading, talking to your children, playing, sports, and social outreach be part of that routine.

1 comment:

  1. This has been one of my favorite books to recommend to parents. Thanks for sharing Mr. Lyons.Dr. Brooks also has a website with his monthly writings. Copy and paste into your browser.